Telenor has become the first operator in Serbia to introduce filters for blocking access to illegal web domains containing sexual abuse of children. The initiative was launched in cooperation with the Serbian Ministry of Interior. On 17 June, Ivica Dačić, Minister of Interior, and Kjell-Morten Johnsen, CEO of Telenor Serbia, put their signatures on an agreement for a long-term partnership to address the issue.
Any Telenor user attempting to access a website with illegal contents from a mobile phone or a computer will now be automatically redirected to a “Stop Page” that contains information that he or she is trying to access a banned website.
A safer Internet
“The telecommunications sector can contribute to the reduction of sexual abuse of children on the Internet, which is a serious global issue. We provide users with simple and fast Internet access from a mobile phone or a computer, at any time and at any place. Thus we become co-responsible for some major issues relating to safety on the Internet. We believe that it is important to be actively engaged in the protection of Internet users both as individual operators and as an industry. Telenor in Serbia is making such a step today,” said Kjell-Morten Johnsen, CEO of Telenor.
Children a priority
“Three years ago, the Serbian Ministry of Interior established its Cyber Crime Department, which has recorded impressive results, despite modest equipment. Therefore, it is particularly important to support their work through this agreement with Telenor, which will provide the Department with relevant equipment. The fight against exploitation of children is the second most important issue, after terrorism. This form of socialising on the network gives a feeling of independence to children, but harmless communication can be dangerous, and that has additionally motivated us to recognise Telenor’s initiative and establish cooperation, in order to prevent access to banned websites,” said Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and the Minister of Interior.
A blacklist prepared by the Interpol and the Ministry of Interior includes websites with content that can be classified as sexual exploitation, harassment or misuse of children. Within the cooperation between Telenor and the Ministry of Interior, the Cyber Crime Department will submit to Telenor updated lists with addresses of websites for which the Ministry and the Interpol have established contain illegal material.
“It is great encouragement to see that Telenor Serbia is putting in place effective mechanisms for preventing illegal distribution of documented sexual abuse. These are important measures to stop further abuse and re-victimisation of children. Hopefully we will now see more Serbian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) follow suit,” said Ola Jo Tandre Director Group Corporate Responsibility at Telenor.
- In 2005, Telenor Norway became the first mobile operator in the world to introduce filters for mobile phones, inspiring the establishment of the GSMA’s Mobile Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Content in 2008.
- Telenor Group has previously introduced the filters at five of its companies – in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Montenegro and Bangladesh.
- Telenor has provided the Serbian Cyber Crime Department with computer equipment, software and the Internet.
Telenor Group strives to ensure that our products remain tools of opportunity, by working to prevent abuse.